2015 Annual Gathering

Living Generously

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Wilshire Baptist Church
Dallas, Texas

Baptist Women in Ministry held it 2015 worship service on June 17 at Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. Over 300 participants gathered to worship together. Music was led by Ossie McKinney, a 2015 graduate of McAfee School of Theology and minister of music at Faith Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. Julie Pennington-Russell, a much-loved preacher, pastor, and mentor was the preacher. Jewel London, pastoral assistant at The Church Without Walls, and Ellen DiGiosia, associate pastor of faith formation at Woodland Baptist Church, San Antonio, Texas, led communion.

2015 Luncheon and Awards Presentation

2015 Church of Excellence

Baptist Women in Ministry presented First Baptist Church of Austin, Texas as its 2015 Church of Excellence for going above and beyond in their encouragement of women in ministry. Long-time church member, Patricia Ayers, says of her much-loved congregation: “For decades, women have been fully engaged in the life of First Baptist Church of Austin. It is the spirit not only of acceptance but of appreciation and encouragement that drew me there over twenty years ago.” First Austin members have consistently demonstrated the courage and conviction of their core belief that God calls, gifts, and empowers women and men to serve the church, and for many years, the church has been faithful and generous in its financial support of Baptist Women in Ministry. This consistent and dependable support has made a significant difference for this organization as well as for women called by God to ministry. First Baptist Church of Austin truly has been and continues to be a Church of Excellence!

2015 Frankie Huff Granger Distinguished Mentor Award

Baptist Women in Ministry recognized Molly T. Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, as the recipient of the 2015 Frankie Huff Granger Distinguished Mentor Award. For over thirty years Molly has faithfully lived out her calling in service to the church and the academy. She began her teaching career at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1984, and served as assistant and then associate professor of theology. At Southern, her students quickly discovered her to be a professor who challenges students to open their hearts and minds to learning but who also sits and listens, offering encouraging advice and wise words.

Back in 2004, David Tonghou Ngong, one of Molly’s former students at Central who is now assistant professor of religion and theology at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, shared these words: “She is a graceful mélange of the theological scholar and the pastor, the teacher who teaches by example and the compassionate friend. I do not know how it would be received here in the United States but in the Cameroon context I would call her mother, for that is the kind of mentor she has been to me.” Thanks be to God, for our friend and mentor, Molly T. Marshall.

2015 Addie Davis Awards

Baptist Women in Ministry presented its 2015 Addie Davis Award for Outstanding Leadership in Pastoral Ministry to Crystal M. Shepherd. Crystal is a student at the Baptist Seminary in Kentucky and will graduate in 2016. G. Wade Rowatt, senior professor of pastoral care and counseling at BSK, says of her: “Crystal has a clear pastoral identity. . . . She is comfortable ministering with diverse populations. Her joy and excitement about participating in the healing and growth of others validate her clarity and conviction of calling.” Baptist Women in Ministry presented its 2015 Addie Davis Award for Excellence in Preaching to Brenda Kay Hafer. She is a May 2015 graduate of Campbell Divinity School. Andy Wakefield, dean of Campbell University Divinity School, says of Brenda: “I have had the pleasure of hearing her preach on several occasions. Nearly every time, she has caused me to pull out pen and paper and start taking notes—something that does not happen often. Her engagement with the text is provocative, and her proclamation is clear and compelling. Her conviction and passion is evident in both words and manner.” He concludes, “Brenda is a preacher whom I would really like to hear preach every single week.” Cameron Jorgenson, associate professor of Christian theology and ethics at Campbell, adds “Her dedication to authenticity and living the truth makes her message not only timely and insightful, but also compelling.” We give thanks for the gifts and ministry of Crystal M. Shepherd and Brenda Kay Hafer, the 2015 recipients of the Addie Davis Awards.